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Maldives president ‘running scared’ of election

The president has yet to submit his candidacy application for the September election.



The Maldives opposition said Sunday the president was “running scared” of the September election, as questions remain about why he has not given in his candidacy paper.

The poll is due to be held on September 23, but President Abdulla Yameen has not yet submitted his application and the deadline for this paperwork is August 10.

The Maldives Independent contacted the President’s Office about his candidacy, and about a rumour that he was waiting on an astrologer’s advice for an auspicious date to submit his application. But nobody was available for comment.

Nor is there a manifesto, although his activity in recent months look like a re-election campaign. He has been touring islands and giving speeches. There is even a logo and hot pink monogrammed headscarves.

But his missing application – and ministerial allegations of a threat to national security – have caused alarm.

The Maldivian Democratic Party said it was “seriously concerned” that Yameen was laying the groundwork to cancel or postpone the 23 September presidential elections.

“President Yameen is running scared from an election he knows he can’t win. This is why he’s inventing cowardly excuses to cancel or delay the election.

“The European Union, in their deliberations regarding targeted sanctions, should pay close attention to Defence Minister Shareef, who appears willing to do the President’s dirty work in order to sabotage the election,” it said, referring to an astonishing Facebook post from the defence minister about a threat to the Maldives.

The police and military had learned of a plot to incite unrest and destabilise the Maldives in the coming days, Adam Shareef Umar said Saturday night without giving details.

The military’s discovery of a bomb in November 2015 in the capital, which led to a state of emergency being declared, was greeted with public scepticism and disbelief.